Light may be the fastest, but in current times, information travels faster than light. Thanks to social media, anything you seek is just a click away. What started as a sincere attempt to connect friends and family, has now transformed into the most potent means of communication.
Every business – big or small, old or new, professional or home-based – has been bitten by the social media bug and uses it as a means to spread its wings. The business schools are not far behind. Social media has proved to be one of the most effective tools when it comes to promoting themselves and spreading the word.
The core benefits of using social media as a tool by the business schools to propagate their USPs are:
- Awareness – Social media can be used as a tool to spread awareness about what the B-school offers and stands for in particular.
- Branding – B-schools can use platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. to build the brand name by sharing their achievements.
- Connectivity – Using various social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. B-schools connect the new students with existing students, faculty, and alumni.
- Discover – Social media can help B-schools discover the latest trends and ideas floating among students.
- Engagements – With features such as ‘likes’, ‘retweets’, ‘shares’, ‘comments’, ‘clicks’, ‘subscribe’, ‘follow’, ‘reply’ a B-school can interact with various stakeholders such as students (prospective, new, existing, alumni), faculty, governing bodies, parents and, corporates.
Let us look at how some of the most powerful tools can be used to their advantage by B-schools to communicate their USPs:
Facebook is undoubtedly the most powerful and widely used social media platforms. With more than two billion users worldwide, it is the quickest means to spread the word. With the advent of features like Facebook Pages and Facebook Groups, B-schools can create a community for its students and help reach out to more. Sharing articles on the latest that happens in the management school regarding the modern facilities, corporate tie-ups, guest lectures, events, etc. not only create a buzz but also helps students share their feedback in terms of reviews, comments, and likes.
Videos and graphics are an effective means of content creation in today’s time. By creating a channel on YouTube, B-schools can easily reach out to a broader community which not only includes students but parents and corporates as well. B-schools can project a strong social media presence and spread the word about what their brand stands for by uploading interactive videos, doing live Q&A sessions with YouTube Live and answer direct questions students may have about courses, curriculum, and overall facilities.
By far, LinkedIn is one of the most serious platforms that social media provides to build the brand for a B-school along with providing job hunting opportunities. It’s a professional network used by more than five hundred million users worldwide. LinkedIn can be used as a tool to spread the USPs of a B-school and create connections with alumni, faculty, and existing students. Having an extensive LinkedIn network is a direct testament to what the B-school stands for and how far its students have reached. This can give a clear picture to prospective students about what is in stored for them if they join a particular business school.
With the advent of digitization and so much digital content around, brevity is the key. Instagram gives precisely that to its users. B-schools can use short 15 second videos on IG stories, IG TV, cartoons, and memes to create a frenzy among students about what they offer in terms of courses, curriculum, and co-curricular activities. Instagram Live is also a powerful way to communicate and interact with students and understand the pulse of the campus.
Twitter takes forward the idea of brevity to the next level. Twitter as a platform not only gives you a chance to be precise and to the point but also be creative. With several followers, B-schools can expand their social media presence and talks about USPs, branding, features, etc. Retweets, replies, direct messages are ways to engage students and other stakeholders.
Quora has now become the go-to place to ask questions about anything under the sun. B-schools can use this to their advantage and spread the word about the latest by answering questions asked by students & corporates, sharing blogs and creating relevant topics. It also has a feature to track the stats and the number of views your answers get on the portal. Students can directly ask questions to representatives of B-schools on Quora.
MBA / Study Portals
With the internet being a powerful tool, many portals have come up in the digital space, which helps students prepare for MBA entrance exams and counsel them about prospects such as MBA Rendezvous, etc. B-schools can tie up with such portals and promote their college by directly reaching out to the students and telling about the various features like courses offered, USPs, fee structure, etc.
There are many blog sites which can be used to the advantage of B-schools. Blogging gives a platform for students to manage and express their college, which can be used to spread the word about B-school. Such blogs are simple means to strike a chord with students.
The prospects with various social media platforms are immense. It all depends how effectively and ethically they are used to create awareness.